- Rebecca Green, a producer known for “It Follows,” said independent films are “slowly dying.”
- It’s hard to secure an actor’s schedule when competing with projects from Netflix and others.
- She also thinks it’s reasonable for independent cinemas to show commercial films with a wider appeal.
Rebecca Green, an independent film producer whose credits include the 2014 horror film “It Follows,” didn’t expect one of her tweets to get so much attention earlier this month.
But after expressing the difficulties of making an independent film at the age of
and superhero movies, the tweet exploded with nearly 20,000 likes and over 1,500 retweets.
“Producing a 2 million movie and since arriving on location for prep, all the actors attached have dropped out because of Marvel,
tweeted the 11th of March. “In case you’re wondering what it’s like to do indie in 2022.”or TV opportunities that block our cash flow,” she said.
Following his viral tweet, Insider spoke to Green about the state of independent and arthouse cinemas. She said that independent films “die a slow death”.
“The struggle for independent distribution was a struggle before the pandemic, but it has exacerbated it,” Green said.
She noted that Netflix produces so much content per year in-house that it’s hard to find notable actors for indie films due to their busy schedules. But it’s hard to get a small film funded today without notable actors, she said.
The pandemic has only accelerated the burgeoning streaming space as media companies have focused on building their own platforms to compete. Now, with so many TV and film opportunities across so many different options, it’s nearly impossible to find well-known actors for an independent film shoot, Green said. Not to mention that the attention of consumers is elsewhere.
Superhero movies, especially Marvel, also block cast schedules. Green lamented that “someone in a Marvel movie can do them for years.” They’re also the types of movies that are doing the best business in theaters, especially during the pandemic, when once reliable demographics — older audiences and families — have been slow to return.
It also means that independent cinemas in the United States have had to evolve their programming strategies, as independent films are becoming fewer and fewer. Arthouse cinema operators Insider recently spoke to said they’re scheduling big-budget films with broader appeal to stay afloat.
“That part of the business is not back to normal yet,” said Ian Judge, creative director of Somerville Theater in Somerville, Massachusetts, referring to independent films.
Green said there was now a need for independent cinemas to show more commercial films.
“The Landmark Theater where I live in Detroit, where I used to see independent movies, closed last year,” Green said. “We have to recognize that theaters have to make money to stay open.”
She said she was overcoming obstacles with making independent films “film by film, actor by actor”.
“We need financiers to play ball, but some have expectations that are too high,” she said. “The best financiers are those who know how to adapt [in their budgets] to allow the film to be made, but some don’t have that flexibility.”
She also said that one of the biggest challenges on the independent distribution side is that distributors are not using social media, such as TikTok, enough to promote their films and reach audiences.
“I believe people want to see these movies,” she said. “They just don’t know about them.”